Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Short-eared Owl still at Cherry Creek State Park

January 7, 2009

Bryan Ehlmann:

Bryan Sullivan, Rich Stevens and I started out for Loveland Pass and Summit County in search of Rosy Finches and Ptarmigan. Shortly after getting on the road at 5:00 AM news radio said that Loveland Pass was closed due to high winds. At 5:00 AM it was above freezing at DIA with 39 degrees. Anemometer readings were steady at 32 MPH with gusts into the low 40s. Nevertheless we decided to put the trip off for a day.

Instead we found ourselves at the parking lot north of the main road and west of the creek at Cherry Creek State Park. The Short-eared Owl flew from north to south over the cattails 30 yards west of us at 6:51 AM. At 6:59 AM, it returned from south to north within 25 yards of us! We may have seen it at 6:44 AM, but it was too dark to be sure of the ID.

They decided to continue up to Pawnee National Grasslands. I opted out.

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